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The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.

At this time, there are no screening tests or screening guidelines for inflammatory bowel disease.

Because about 5% of people with ulcerative colitis develop colon cancer, screening for colon cancer is an important component of the management of inflammatory bowel disease. If you have colitis, it is recommended that you have a colonoscopy every 1-2 years to check for precancerous changes or cancer in your colon. During a colonoscopy, a thin, lighted tube is inserted through the rectum and into the colon to examine the lining of the entire colon.

References:

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/. Accessed March 6, 2006.

Last reviewed September 2013 by Daus Mahnke, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.